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Botched Call Out at Summer Camp


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#21 LeCastor

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Posted 18 December 2014 - 02:37 PM


So if a Scout was accidentally called out in error, oh well, he was called out, let him in. I wouldn't penalize that Scout because some leader messed up. Maybe use it as an opportunity to tighten up the checks and balances to make sure it doesn't happen again in the future, but it's not worth penalizing that Scout because someone else goofed.


Just to play Devi's Advocate, though, do you think the Scout would feel good knowing that he was inducted into the Order of the Arrow knowing that he wasn't chosen by his fellow Scouts? If someone accidentally pinned an Eagle medal on my chest (hyperbole, I know) I would feel weird knowing that I didn't earn the rank of Eagle.

At any rate, I do agree with you that Scouts shouldn't be penalized due to the errors of adults.
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#22 SMMatthew

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Posted 18 December 2014 - 04:02 PM

As a Scout, I wouldn't want to take credit from something I didn't actually earn or deserve. I wouldn't want to encourage a Scout to do that either. Becoming a member of the OA merely due to a clerical error made during a call out ceremony is meaningless and should not be what that honor represents... but sending a Scout back to his campsite humiliated, disenfranchised and in tears due to an adult's mistake is hardly what the Scouting program should stand for either. In such a situation, I would explain to the Scout what happened (off to the side, to avoid any public embarrassment), and I'd let him advise us on what we should do. He may opt to recuse himself until he is properly elected in... but maybe not. If he decides to stay, I would encourage him to go through all the steps to get into the Order legitimately, even if the steps he's taking are somewhat out of order ("okay, you were called out, so you can go through the ordeal tonight; but to be fair to all the other Scouts that wear the sash, afterwards we should make sure you get voted in by your peers and let's make sure you've completed all the required nights camping, reached First Class, etc."). That way when he wears the sash and pocket flap and attends OA events he can say he did truly deserve the honor listed on his Scouting résumé and he does deserve to be there (even if his pathway there was unorthodox or backwards). I had a Scout several years ago that accidently got signed-off on Citizenship in the Nation merit badge at summer camp when he didn't actually complete all the requirements (due to a paper-work mix-up with the councilor at the camp, he got credit for writing a letter to a congressman when he never actually did it). I didn't withhold the badge (nor the advancement to the rank of Life that earning the badge entitled him to). But I did encourage him to actually go do that requirement he had skipped... which he did. Now he wears his Eagle badge with pride and knows he did everything the badge requires (even if he technically did them out of order). If he hadn't written the letter, I wouldn't have withheld further rank from him; but he'd know that he took a shortcut and I think his Eagle would be less meaningful to him. So, in this case, I wouldn't withhold membership or participating in the ordeal due to an adult mistake during the callout, but I'd encourage the Scout to make the honor meaningful by going back to dot the 'i's and cross the 't's.
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#23 LeCastor

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Posted 18 December 2014 - 06:24 PM

Yup, I can totally get behind that!
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#24 SMMatthew

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Posted 19 December 2014 - 10:33 AM

I think this is a situation, like many in Scouting, where a black-and-white, hard-and-fast policy or rule can't just be handed down from on high and applied universally... you need some situational common-sense and individual assessment to find a solution that is fair to the individual person and circumstances while keeping in mind the ultimate goal of supporting the three aims of Scouting. And treating two people or situations "fairly" doesn't always mean treating them "identically."
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#25 SeattlePioneer

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Posted 19 December 2014 - 03:02 PM

<> Yes, I think this was the best solution. Anyone who thinks that OA standards and practices are more important than the disappointment of the boy in this circumstance ought to turn in his sash and flap, in my opinion. <> Ummm. "A Scout is Trustworthy. Shouldn't be exaggerating like that! Frankly, I think OA needs a major overhaul to dump the Indian rig a marole. I visited the district OA meeting last week and suggested this to the district OA leaders, but they eat that stuff up. That's fine, but if they actually pitched OA as an opportunity to learn keen Indian dancing, I suspect that the number of people attending Ordeal would drop sharply.
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#26 qwazse

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Posted 19 December 2014 - 10:25 PM

... Frankly, I think OA needs a major overhaul to dump the Indian rig a marole. I visited the district OA meeting last week and suggested this to the district OA leaders, but they eat that stuff up. That's fine, but if they actually pitched OA as an opportunity to learn keen Indian dancing, I suspect that the number of people attending Ordeal would drop sharply.

Funny, and if the harkening to NA culture were not part of O/A, I would tell my boys not to bother with elections. They could just call the ranger and say, we're here to help.
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#27 nswww41

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Posted 05 May 2015 - 12:58 AM

It gets sticky when it comes to telling someone they are not getting in. Yes mistakes get made, but all OA elections need to be done prior to Summer camp, and should be run by at least two OA youth and one OA adult. Proper forms need to be filled out and signed by the scoutmaster and the Lodge Advisor. This way everyone knows who is eligible to get in and do their Ordeal.

And as to your son, the elections are not supposed to be popularity contests, but after all, they are just boys.... His time will come. And when it does, it can be a great experience for him to interact with boys from across the whole council and not just his troop.

I don't fault your dad skills as others have. Our sons need to learn that life has disappointments and we learn from them. What kind of men will they be if they don't learn about all of life's ups and downs.


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#28 Gone

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Posted 05 May 2015 - 09:49 AM

 

I don't fault your dad skills as others have. Our sons need to learn that life has disappointments and we learn from them. What kind of men will they be if they don't learn about all of life's ups and downs.

 

I don't think anyone here thinks that learning to deal with disappointment shouldn't be learned. But there's a better way to let that lesson be learned than some lodges are currently doing.

 

Also, as far as elections are concerned, if OA was truly worried about taking those most worthy, they'd have a blind ballot where each candidate's service project and camping record for that two year period were next to their name. That way the boys could see that Tommy Unpopular had 30 nights camping and 50+ service hours, whereas Johnny Popular had 15 nights and 10 service hours. Who would the boys vote for then?

 

I have seen some VERY worthy Scouts never make OA simply because they were not popular. Over a 15 year period, it's enough to say that the OA is missing the boat and leaving some very good scouts behind who's time never comes. It is time to change how the OA elects members.


Edited by Mozartbrau, 05 May 2015 - 09:50 AM.

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#29 Eagle94-A1

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Posted 05 May 2015 - 10:12 AM

Mozart,

 

if the elecion is done properly, it's not a popularity contest. I too have seen worthy youth get not get elected. I saw a lot more of it under the old election rules. Heck I got elected on the third go.

 

Part of the problem IMHO is that I am seeing more and more folks seeing it as a check off item to Eagle, and not as being selected as an Honor Camper as the OA is suppose to be, a Honor Camper society.

 

I know I had one SM PO'd at me and the OA election team when it was discussed what being in the OA really ment. Half of those eligible decided to back out before the vote. SM  said we shouldn't have said anything and just let them get elected without them knowing what we do.


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"Train 'em. Trust 'em. LET THEM LEAD!" William "Green Bar Bill" Hillcourt


#30 Gone

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Posted 05 May 2015 - 10:40 AM

Mozart,

 

if the elecion is done properly, it's not a popularity contest. I too have seen worthy youth get not get elected. I saw a lot more of it under the old election rules. Heck I got elected on the third go.

 

Curious, how does running an election properly keep kids from voting for Mr. Popular? Isn't the election team limited in what they can say? Sure, everyone says "It's not a popularity contest", but there's no way to prohibit the election from becoming one the way it is now. Blind elections would eliminate that possibility...or at least greatly reduce it.


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#31 baggss

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Posted 07 May 2015 - 10:25 AM

"Botched" seems to be synonymous with a quite a few OA lodge endeavours.
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